@Sad Sack - with all due respect to gun enthusiasts, and those fearing the
omnipresent threat of home invasions, we can secure loaded weapons in the home
from toddlers, we can educate children and teenagers about gun safety... but
this does *nothing* to address the 80% of Utah gun deaths which are suicides.I'm old enough that I've known - or had one degree of
separation from - 25 people killed by guns here in Utah: Two murders, two
accidents, and 21 suicides. Even here in Utah, a gun is far more likely to used
in the death of its owner than it is to repel a home invader.But
keep telling yourselves this would never happen to you or somebody you know.
While I hate to see this, apparently the child is not too seriously injured.
This Time. Hopefully, the situation will teach not only him, but the persons
responsible for him being able to get hold of this firearm, a lesson.I
have a real problem with firearms being left accessible to kids.But I also
have a real problem with the idea that all firearms need to be locked up
separately from the ammunition. Too many years in law enforcement has left me
with the basic truth that if you have a weapon for protection, whether at home,
in a vehicle, or on your person, having it in anything other than a loaded state
just negates the reason for having it in the first place.But for
heaven's sake, if you do keep a firearm for protection do a few things to
make it safer.First, keep it in a location where a child cannot get to it.
(I'm talking toddler here.)Second, teach your kids about gun
safety.Third, take your kids to the range, and let them use the weapon,
while you supervise it. In other words, remove the "mystery"
Gun safes are relatively inexpensive. Gun injuries are expensive on so many
In the 50's and 60's, I don't recall any of our friends'
families having a gun safe. Deer and rabbit hunting provided dramatic examples
of the destructive nature of bullets. We learned to never point a gun at
anything we didn't want to destroy and kept our fingers off the trigger
until we were ready to fire. We assumed the guns in the house were loaded for
defense of family. Hunting and shooting were times when our families bonded.
My friends and I had free access to guns to kick around in the desert
unsupervised at age 12. Kids were trusted with real guns to take to school for
school plays and skits. We all had guns in our trucks for hunting after school.
At college, dorm rooms had deer rifles for the Fall deer hunt. I never lost a
friend to a gun accident, no one shot up the schools. I don't even
remember a gun accident injuring a friend. Something has changed, but the guns
Put the guns away from children. emb
How many things have to go wrong to have this type of accident?1.
There has to be a gun that is not secured. Guns should be in a locked container
or safe if there is even a remote chance that a child may be in the home, even
visiting. Certainly the gun should not be accessible to a curious child.2. The gun should not be loaded. Storing ammo and the weapon separately is
good practice.3. A bullet should not be chambered.4. The safety
should be on.5. Trigger locks are an added measure of safety.Any one of these simple precautions could avert a tragedy. When used in
combination, an "accident" like this is highly unlikey. By the way,
"accident" is not really a good word when we are being careless.
Speeding, tail-gating, driving on worn-out tires, etc. are asking for trouble
and "accidents" that happen when folks are driving under these
conditions are not really accidents, because the consequences are readily
foreseeable and much more likely when these behaviors are exhibited. Same thing
goes for thoughtless storage of firearms.